Why should students know basic math facts? Because multiplication fact skills predict grades in college math courses

Cathy Callow-Heusser, Jason Bagley, Christina Watts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard, “What do you mean I can’t use a calculator in this class?” while teaching developmental (previously called remedial) math classes at Utah State University (USU). Unfortunately for students, most of our higher education campuses in Utah do not allow calculators in developmental math courses—those courses below College Algebra (Math 1050). Yet, in Utah and nationwide, about 70% of students enrolling in college are required to start with developmental math courses, and pass rates in these courses are abysmal--estimated to be about 50-60% (Cutler, 2009; Twigg, 2007). Sadly, only 1 in 4 students who take developmental math courses graduates from college (Bailey, 2009). While many factors lead to this high failure rate, ensuring success with basic math facts may be one important first-step to success.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-60
Number of pages5
JournalUtah Mathematics Teacher
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


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